Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth of England’s second son, is set for a civil lawsuit in a U.S. court from Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s most public accusers, over claims she was forced to have sex with the royal when she was 17.
Giuffre’s lawsuit, filed in a New York federal court Monday, alleges Andrew sexually abused her at Epstein’s New York penthouse in 2001, when Giuffre says she was being sex trafficked by Epstein and his longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell, a wealthy British socialite and friend of Andrew’s.
Giuffre accuses the prince of inflicting emotional distress and battery and is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, describing the abuse’s effect on Giuffre as “severe and lasting” in the suit.
The lawsuit was filed under New York’s Child Victims Act, a state law that allows child sex abuse victims more time to sue in civil court for damages regardless of the crime’s statute of limitations.
If Andrew were to ignore the lawsuit, Giuffre’s lawyers would use a judgement against him to target his assets as much as international law would allow, a rep said, though the U.S. and U.K. do not have a reciprocal agreement to enforce respective court judgements.
Andrew has previously denied having any sexual contact with Giuffre in a 2019 BBC interview.
New York federal prosecutors say that Andrew refused to cooperate on the Epstein investigation last year. Prince Andrew’s legal team on the other hand has denied the accusation, saying the investigators have turned down offers from the prince to assist three separate times. Andrew has stayed largely out of the public eye since stepping down as a senior working member of the royal family, only making exceptions for his daughter Princess Beatrice’s wedding last year and the funeral for his father, Prince Philip, in April. Andrew is ninth in line for the throne.
Giuffre has continued her claim for years that she was abused by Andrew on different occasions in New York, London and on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Epstein died by suicide in a New York jail in August 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking of underage girls and conspiracy charges. Epstein was first convicted of soliciting underage girls for sex in 2007, but served just more than a year in prison as part of a much-criticized plea deal. Maxwell was arrested last year in New Hampshire and is in jail awaiting trial later this year on charges related to grooming and sex trafficking underage girls for Epstein.